Backpacking Moratorium

Two people sitting with cooking supplies next to a tent.
Backpackers prepare a meal as the sun sets.

NPS/Neal Herbert


Effective September 6, 2016, Arches National Park has suspended backcountry overnight use while staff examine whether current backcountry management allows for adequate protection to park resources.


Why are you placing a moratorium on overnight backcountry use (backpacking)?
In the past 10 years, the annual number of backpacking permits has increased dramatically. Given this increase, we implemented a moratorium to evaluate whether current backcountry use allows for adequate protection of park resources.

When will backcountry camping resume?
A team is developing new guidelines for backcountry camping. We hope to finish these guidelines in 2017.

Can I still explore the backcountry at Arches?
Yes. The moratorium is only on overnight camping. Day-use access of the backcountry is allowed (no permit required). Read more about hiking.

Where else can I backpack?
You can backpack on much of the public land adjacent to Arches National Park, such as areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service, and at Canyonlands National Park. Check each agency's website for further information about regulations and permits.

For information about vehicle camping at Arches, visit the camping page.

For information about vehicle camping around Moab, visit or download the Moab Campground Information Map [239k PDF file] showing all the public campgrounds near Moab.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532


(435) 719-2299

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